I have wanted a netbook for over a year. It has sat on my Target “wish list” for that entire time but there are many, many things we needed more than I needed a netbook. But then I joined Thirty-One as a consultant, became a team leader at my church , and we started Financial Peace University. Suddenly I felt very disorganized. I really wanted a way to help me organize my life and my various activities. For a few weeks after I joined Thirty-One, I decided to save for a Mac Air. The Mac Air has all the same portability benefits of a netbook while having the added bonus of being a Mac (I used a Mac all through college). Of course, being a full size laptop, it has a lot more memory and functionality. I still get giddy thinking of all the things I can do with our photographs once I have a Mac. BUT, the cost finally made me decide to stick with a netbook for now and wait to get a Mac.
I decided that the benefits of the netbook for my business made it a priority to me and I would save money from my commissions in order to purchase one.
I would have been able to purchase the netbook after my commission check came in on October 10th. However, I told Ed that I was going to be all mature and adult and wait until after Christmas to buy it so that I knew for sure that we would have enough money to buy Christmas gifts. Being an adult can be such a drag!
I say that I got rewarded for putting my kids and friends/family first because last Thursday when I got home from a Thirty-One party Ed told me that I needed to call my parents…they had gone to Verizon to get my dad a blackberry…and they got a netbook for free. WHAT?!?!! If I wanted it and was okay with paying the monthly contract amount, I could have it for Christmas. WHAT?!?! Seriously? Somebody pinch me!
Believe it or not though, I didn’t immediately say yes. It does come with a 2 -year service contract of $40 a month. Finally I decided that a) when you broke it down, since I was getting the netbook FREE, it really wasn’t that much more than buying the netbook while getting a nicer netbook than I planned on AND getting the added benefit of the Verizon wireless service when I needed it. b) My commission from Thirty-One will cover the cost each month and there really are SO many ways that it will help me with my business c) it is a tax deduction!
The weird thing to me (and actually my point of writing this whole post) is that after Financial Peace University and my efforts to save money to buy the netbook, it was almost a letdown to just basically have it handed to me. Don’t get me wrong, I am THRILLED, OVER THE MOON, ECSTATIC that it happened this way. It would have taken me forever to decide which one to get and I would have probably ended up with the one that is purple just for the fact that it is purple. I probably would have kept finding something that we needed the money for more and it would have taken me forever to actually buy it. However, having had it for a few days now, it has already helped me in so many ways and it has exceeded my expectations. I am thrilled with all the ways it is going to help me be more organized and productive. I am so very thankful to my parents who listen to me and knew how much I wanted one of these and said yes when it was offered to them.
So why the letdown? I can’t tell you when the last time it was that I paid CASH for something this expensive. I took out my first loan for a purchase when I was a freshman in college. It was a low-interest Apple student Loan for my Mac. We have had loans and credit cards ever since. I am SOLD on not using credit. Although we are paying off credit cards, we no longer use credit cards for purchases and when we pay off our cars (mine in just a few months!!), we plan to never carry a car loan again.
I totally got it when Dave Ramsey talked about credit cards being a product themselves…and they are certainly not a product I care to purchase again in this lifetime. So I was excited to save my money, go to the store, and pay CASH for my netbook. That first night seeing it in the box beside my bed just felt weird…I didn’t do anything to get it – I didn’t earn it, I didn’t pay for it, and because I was going to have to pay for the service plan, I felt like I was paying it off just like I would a credit card. It felt like I was betraying FPU!
Oh wait…I did do something…I answered all of my dad’s questions about my blackberry before he went to get one himself and I am sure I will continue to help him as he gets used to all of its features. That has to count for something!
I have gotten over all of my weirdness and now I am just enjoying this little thing. It is so awesome and I really think the keys are bigger than the ones on my work laptop!
All of this is really to say that I am proud of myself that I was a little let down to not pay for it in cash. I NEVER would have felt that way a year ago. I am proud that we went to Target this past Saturday and spent $11. I am proud that I was able to negotiate a better price on sale items at Party City (for work). I could go on and on because Financial Peace University really has changed my thought process and behavior…and I was only able to go to a couple of the class sessions (seemed wrong to pay a babysitter to go to FPU! AND, I read the entire book and have listened to most of the lectures on CD). I’m not perfect, I still buy things now and then that aren’t absolutely necessary…like a sweater for Hailey today (but it was $4, and completely soft and adorable and can be casual or a little more dressy…the fact that I can justify is always my downfall)…or cow tails (at the dollar tree! and there are 5 to a pack!)…but I am always thinking, “we’re living like no one else so that we can LIVE like no one else!”
If you are struggling with debt or want to learn how to make better financial decisions, I encourage you to check out Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University!!